I, like many conservatives, have begun the process of coming to terms with Mitt Romney’s nomination and the awareness that should the Governor win this election he will control the Republican Party for the next eight years. There is little that can be done now. Too many conservative electeds sat on their hands and refused to stand up. The ones who did where summarily demolished by the Romney attack machine. I personally supported, and still do, Texas Rep. Ron Paul. But I came to Paul from the Republican Party (a former member of the Tom Davis wing of the Republican Party of Virginia) and I intend to keep it that way. So now we must look below the presidency. We must hope that Romney governs in the plain New England conservatism of Coolidge. But it is conservatives that we must elect to Congress and we must look to the states and find the next great senators, congressmen, and governors. Here is a list of proven conservatives, post-2012, to keep an eye on.
1. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli – I must admit bias. I am from Northern Virginia and I have volunteered for both his 2007 state senate reelection and his attorney general campaign. I, in fact, know the man some and admire him personally. Cuccinelli is taking the big leap next year as he enters a contentious governors race where he will battle with entrenched LG Bil Bolling, a conservative himself with the backing of Bob McDonnell. But Cuccinelli has taken the lead, and relished the fight, like no other state official battling the regulation of the Obama Administration. He has attacked the global science hoaxes emenating out of universities, sued to overthrow Obamacare, worked to pass a property rights amendment, and has helped free wrongly imprisoned citizens. He is the most conservative statewide elected official since George Allen in 1993 but hails from suburban and Democratic Northern Virginia. He’s the read deal and running for governor rather than the US Senate tells you all you need to know about his intended ambition.
2. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell – The heir to Sarah Palin, she handpicked him to run on her reform ticket in 2006, pushed him to run for the House against corrupt appropriator Don Young, and followed her to the governor’s seat in 2009. Gov. Parnell, from everything I’ve read, has continued Palin’s vision for a conservative Alaska. He has been THE leader in fighting the Obama Admin on oil and energy regulation. What the future holds for him is whatever he wants . . . a race against Sen. Mark Begich could vault him to the front of the line as a conservative in the US Senate and but the fluke senator out of office. I admire Joe Miler greatly, but Gov. Parnell
3. Kentucky congressional candidate Thomas Massie – This comes from my Paul-ish colors, but Massie has a fascinating story as a local government official who has fought all the entrenched powers by attacking wasteful government spending. He was an early supporter of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and spoke for his campaign. Sending Massie to Congress would give Sen. Paul a key local ally.
4. Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch – She has made it her vow to protect Gov. Scott Walker in this recall race coming up in June. I am becoming more and more confident that Walker will win this race and I suspect Klefisch will as well. But she has been a warrior for Walker, and herself proved a valuable critic of Obamacare after sharing her story of her battle with cancer. If she and Walker can survive this, she has a shot at being a real star for the right moving forward.
5. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi – She has a very similar story as Cuccinelli, except she came out of law enforcement whereas Cuccinelli came out of the state senate. She has continued the work of Bill McCollum and Florida has lead in fighting Obamacare. She is smart, telegenic (frankly, she’s a beautiful women), and clearly savy. Her future seems limitless and her past thus far suggests she would make a marvelous conservative leader.
Now that is the extent of what I can think of off the top of my head. But since this is a national blog, I’d love to hear what the rest of you all out there think and what other names are out there. It is more important than ever to ensure that we support young, up and coming conservatives in this approaching era where the establishment will re-take the party apparatus (as if they ever lost it).